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Snake encounter, that was closer than Id like.

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Snake encounter, that was closer than Id like.

Old 04-05-24, 07:31 AM
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The thing is, those creatures have just as much right to be there as you. The're not looking for trouble either. Leave them alone and they'll do likewise.
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Old 04-05-24, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
The thing is, those creatures have just as much right to be there as you. The're not looking for trouble either. Leave them alone and they'll do likewise.
This is America, jack! The first thing we do when we see something that frightens us is harm it! Best to kill it and think later!
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Old 04-05-24, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
... No reason to do them any harm...
I agree they are not really a problem for cycling. We have tried this on our property but have all but given up on our property. We lived for over 40 years out in the desert area near Tucson. We have snake tongs and a trash can and can some times relocate, but the issue is where to relocate, it feels like endangering others. We have had 6 dogs bitten over the years and the last a few years ago now were $2,500 each in emergency vet costs. They are cold blooded so like the heat and in the evening they head for an asphalt road or your porches, etc. that hold the heat, so stepping outside must be done carefully. On my typical 20 mile ride in the warm months I see them squished on the road every ride with the ravens, buzzards, etc. chowing down. I wish the locals would not run over the good snakes, especially the black racers, coachwhips and kingsnakes which will eat the smaller rattlers. Rattle snakes are far from a threatened species in the desert Southwest and the 6 to 9 we take out every year have no impact on the populations.
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Old 04-05-24, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Leave them alone and they'll do likewise.
I wish that were true. Do you let Red Fire Ants, Kissing Bugs, Africanized Honey Bees, Arizona Bark Scorpions, or Brown Recluse Spiders live with you.
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Old 04-05-24, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug
I wish that were true. Do you let Red Fire Ants, Kissing Bugs, Africanized Honey Bees, Arizona Bark Scorpions, or Brown Recluse Spiders live with you.
Where I live I do leave those things alone, particularly spiders. Spiders kill/dispose of more insects/food per year in tonnage than humans do. They are the best/cheapest method of insect prevention you can get. I have some Black Widows in my garage. They're reclusive. As long as you wear gloves and look where you are reaching, no problem. Maybe if you have some small kids or pets, you relocate a venomous snake, but they have a job to do. If you don't want vermin in your yard/around your house, the snakes will take care of them. The human being is by far the most destructive force on the planet.

Last edited by seypat; 04-05-24 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 04-05-24, 08:20 AM
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I was mindlessly spinning along on a lonely stretch of road nearby, mostly looking straight down at my cranks gliding over the white line on the edge of the road, when my right foot went inches over a full grown copperhead ! Well, I nearly shat myself, and spun around to take a better look at it. Turns out it was recently killed somehow, but looked perfectly fine. Still rattled my cage in a big way!

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Old 04-05-24, 08:48 AM
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Which reminds me of a animal story that I can relate to cycling. It's going to turn into an environmental rant so watch out. I grew up in North Texas, the area around Wichita Falls to be exact. Still have relatives there and others spread out through west/other parts of Texas. Anyone ever been to Wichita Falls, or Texas between WF and places west of there? If so, you know what the terrain looks like. If not, watch the movie "The Last Picture Show" or other movies like "Giant." West of the Metroplex is desert type country. In 2021, my father had to have some stints inserted in early August. It gave me a chance to go back and ride the cycling event known around the country/world as the HotterNHell 100. Anyway, I got off the plane in Dallas and headed towards Abilene through the wasteland that is that area. Got to Abilene and everything around me is dry, brown and dead as it is that time of year. Got to my dad's neighborhood and everyone in the neighborhood is running the sprinkler systems. We visited for 3 hours before going to bed. All the time, those sprinklers were running. I got up the next morning, and all of those sprinkler systems were going until I left around noon. This was in late August, in drought conditions, in an area that's not green naturally, all for the sake of vanity/having a f-n green lawn! So, I leave heading for Wichita Falls. As soon as I get out of the neighborhood, it goes back to brown, dry, crusty, dead and natural along with the mesquite trees and cactuses. Continued in next post.
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Old 04-05-24, 08:58 AM
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And, back on topic:


This was near St. George UT.
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Old 04-05-24, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Where I live I do leave those things alone, particularly spiders. Spiders kill/dispose of more insects/food per year in tonnage than humans do. The are the best/cheapest method of insect prevention you can get. I have some Black Widows in my garage. They're reclusive. As long as you wear gloves and look where you are reaching, no problem. Maybe if you have some small kids or pets, you relocate a venomous snake, but they have a job to do. If you don't want vermin in your yard/around your house, the snakes will take care of them. The human being is by far the most destructive force on the planet.
Again, wish all this were as true as what you know we are doing to our only planet. I got a minor bite somehow through my jeans gathering fire wood for a dinner party that night, fever and chills in bed the next day we thought I had the flu, hospital the following day confirmed a Brown Recluse bite. Maybe so where you live, but sorry to say living in harmony with dangerous snakes & insects in the desert Southwest is Pollyanna.
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Old 04-05-24, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Which reminds me of a animal story that I can relate to cycling. It's going to turn into an environmental rant so watch out. I grew up in North Texas, the area around Wichita Falls to be exact. Still have relatives there and others spread out through west/other parts of Texas. Anyone ever been to Wichita Falls, or Texas between WF and places west of there? If so, you know what the terrain looks like. If not, watch the movie "The Last Picture Show" or other movies like "Giant." West of the Metroplex is desert type country. In 2021, my father had to have some stints inserted in early August. It gave me a chance to go back and ride the cycling event known around the country/world as the HotterNHell 100. Anyway, I got off the plane in Dallas and headed towards Abilene through the wasteland that is that area. Got to Abilene and everything around me is dry, brown and dead as it is that time of year. Got to my dad's neighborhood and everyone in the neighborhood is running the sprinkler systems. We visited for 3 hours before going to bed. All the time, those sprinklers were running. I got up the next morning, and all of those sprinkler systems were going until I left around noon. This was in late August, in drought conditions, in an area that's not green naturally, all for the sake of vanity/having a f-n green lawn! So, I leave heading for Wichita Falls. As soon as I get out of the neighborhood, it goes back to brown, dry, crusty, dead and natural along with the mesquite trees and cactuses. Continued in next post.
So, like Mad Max, I head back out into the wasteland going from Abilene to Wichita Falls. Rolling along through the scrub brush, mesquites and cacti trying to avoid Lord Humungus. I get to my brother's house which is in the country on ten acres of the same type of terrain. Off a rural road and not visible from the road. Low and behold, he's trying as hard as he can to go against mother nature and get himself a green lawn! He's spent all kinds of money doing different things trying to get that yard established. At least he has a water catching system. Anyway, he runs his sprinklers for a couple of hours when I get there, both at night and in the mornings. During the night, I'm awakened by gunshots. I look out the window and there's an armadillo in the front yard. He was digging in the yard for grubs. The 410 made quick work of that pest. Same scenario the next night. Another armadillo rolled with buckshot. I could understand it if my brother had a garden that the pests were destroying. But it wasn't about that. It was all about having a green lawn.

So, I rode the event on Saturday, got up on Sunday, packed my bike for shipment and made my way back to Dallas for a meeting with a plane home. On the following Monday, water restrictions went into effect for both Abilene and Wichita Falls because of the low water levels. I was told that the wealthier people would just get water shipped out of Oklahoma in tanker trucks to keep their lawns green. Unbelievable, to say the least.

Last edited by seypat; 04-05-24 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 04-05-24, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug
Again, wish all this were as true as what you know we are doing to our only planet. I got a minor bite somehow through my jeans gathering fire wood for a dinner party that night, fever and chills in bed the next day we thought I had the flu, hospital the following day confirmed a Brown Recluse bite. Maybe so where you live, but sorry to say living in harmony with dangerous snakes & insects in the desert Southwest is Pollyanna.
BTW, I've stepped on rattlers and Copperheads before. One thing we learned hauling hay at night was to look at/around a bale before you pick it up. It's a good spot for a snake to be. The same for most any open ground at night. Once, we had to deal with a skunk that went through a cotton stripper. It was rough. The new house my parents built in 1980 appeared to be built on a scorpion den/area. I got stung twice one night. The first one woke me up. I moved to a couch after the second one. I never did find that scorpion.

Last edited by seypat; 04-05-24 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 04-05-24, 09:22 AM
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I stepped on a copperhead once while picking raspberries on a local ridge with my dog. Then a couple weeks later, someone's dog got bit on the same ridge and perished. They could not get to the vet in time. :-(
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Old 04-05-24, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
I stepped on a copperhead once while picking raspberries on a local ridge with my dog. Then a couple weeks later, someone's dog got bit on the same ridge and perished. They could not get to the vet in time. :-(
We had a Pekinese that got stung in front of the fireplace. He lay paralyzed for about a half hour, then got up and walked off. I got stung there in front of the fireplace as well. It feels like a coal that pops out of a fire onto you.
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Old 04-05-24, 09:52 AM
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They're in socal, and if seen in time, not a problem. However, I've ridden around a blind corner and had to bunny hop over one. Another time I was descending a hill and encountered one. It seemed that braking was infeasible, so I aimed for its head figuring that nobody ever got struck by a tail. The snake moved its head and I adjusted my aim, bumped over it and lived to tell the tale.
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Old 04-05-24, 09:52 AM
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I leave any snakes I see when I am out riding or hiking or whatever be. I leave any around the house be too, but they have all been nonvenomous ones near the house. Close to the house I might relocate or kill venomous ones if I were to find any.
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Old 04-05-24, 12:23 PM
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Luckily, have never been bitten by a snake. Have encountered them on the trail, but no terrible experiences with them. I wouldn't know one snake from another, so I just try to avoid all. Decades ago, went to a rail trail in eastern PA with my wife and some friends. Unloaded the bikes, and as we were starting up the trail, came across a person with a burlap (I guess) bag and a pole with a curve on the end. Yep, they were catching rattlers so the venom could be "milked", to create anti-venom. There were more people, further up the trail, along both sides.
No, we didn't continue!
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Old 04-05-24, 01:25 PM
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Was in Santa Fe, NM in early May for many years, was mostly mt biking. Had to bunny hop a rattler that was laying straight across the trail, no room to go around and I had come around a corner at a good speed. The snakes come out of dormancy in spring and like to lay in the sun to get warm. I respect snakes, though there are none where I live on Long Island, NY.
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Old 04-05-24, 01:37 PM
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I say, "We take solace in the theory that Rattle Snakes only inject venom about 50% of the time".

Snake says, "I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?"...you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
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Old 04-05-24, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
I say, "We take solace in the theory that Rattle Snakes only inject venom about 50% of the time".

Snake says, "I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?"...you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
Your mouthwash aint cuttin it.
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Old 04-05-24, 02:01 PM
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Yeesh, glad that worked out!
Have had to hop snakes stretched across our area bike path and they've been a mix of rattler and gopher--I really can't tell until I'm over them, if then.
Used to see king snakes--they're our friends--but they seem to have vanished.
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Old 04-05-24, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Your mouthwash aint cuttin it.
Unfortunately, not many people remember this one:

"Right turn, Clyde."
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Old 04-05-24, 03:01 PM
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maybe the bzzzz is a chris king hub

can't find the picture, but friend stopped for a break on a ride on McKee road in San jose ( it does not take a lot of riding to be in rural areas within San Jose City limits) when he went to start up again there was a rattler right underneath his bottom bracket

lot's of snakes where I grew up in Montana but never came across one when bicycling
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Old 04-05-24, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old
I aimed for its head figuring that nobody ever got struck by a tail.
In late spring, there are lots of pregnant rattlesnakes stretched out on the gravel roads around here. If it's on a downhill, I always aim for their tails. But the rattlesnakes around here coil up before they strike, it's pretty safe to pass by one that's stretched out. OTOH, I'm pretty sure I have aimed to go behind their tail and rode right past their head.

Originally Posted by freeranger
Decades ago, went to a rail trail in eastern PA with my wife and some friends. Unloaded the bikes, and as we were starting up the trail, came across a person with a burlap (I guess) bag and a pole with a curve on the end. Yep, they were catching rattlers so the venom could be "milked", to create anti-venom.
In most parts of Pa, you can expect there to be rattlesnakes along most rivers and creeks, because that's where their prey is. Doesn't stop people from fishing or otherwise using the rivers. Most rail trails here are next to a river, because otherwise it would be uneconomic to use trains. So snakes are a pretty common feature of many Pennsylvania rail trails. First time I was in the so-called grand canyon of Pennsylvania on the Pine Creek rail trail, there was a crowd surrounding a giant snake. I figured it was somewhat unwise, but the snake wasn't bothered. There is a company here in town that catches snakes for anti-venom. I have never seen them out hunting snakes though.

My spouse and I have been riding a lot of rail trails since she got her ebike. We have yet to see a snake when riding together. The most interesting wildlife we have seen were female turtles laying eggs. Most of the baby turtles probably got eaten by rattlesnakes.
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Old 04-05-24, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
In late spring, there are lots of pregnant rattlesnakes stretched out on the gravel roads around here. If it's on a downhill, I always aim for their tails. But the rattlesnakes around here coil up before they strike, it's pretty safe to pass by one that's stretched out. OTOH, I'm pretty sure I have aimed to go behind their tail and rode right past their head.
Whoa, whoa, whoa lemme stop you right there. Rattlesnakes are live-birthers, like guppies? What happened to laying eggs, for Pete's sake? At least the lizards and ground squirrels get a shot at them.
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Old 04-05-24, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick_D
Whoa, whoa, whoa lemme stop you right there. Rattlesnakes are live-birthers, like guppies? What happened to laying eggs, for Pete's sake? At least the lizards and ground squirrels get a shot at them.
Yup. Born ready to go with fangs and venom and everything.
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